Category:Tour backing tapes

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This page lists any tour backing tapes for which there is information available or which have excerpts available to listen to.

Regarding how much audio is played live during a Depeche Mode concert, Alan Wilder has stated on the Shunt Q&A that it was approximately 50%, and that the band played as much as was manageable without bringing in lots of extra musicians.[1] The 50% figure is presumably accurate only for tours spanning the 1982 See You Tour to the 1994 Exotic Tour, during which Alan was a member of the band and would be able to report directly based on first-hand experience. This tends to correspond with the available snippets and excerpts of backing tapes which are available to listen to below on their respective tours' pages.

What percentage of music was in fact played 'live' during a DM concert?

Approximately 50%[1]

Don't you think that DM could have played much more "live" during a gig than 50%? I've always had the impression that especially Martin was somewhat underemployed (let alone Andy but that seems to be a different matter.)

Our policy was to always play as much as we could manage (without bringing in lots of extra musicians).[1]

Some info regarding what is audible on the backing tapes is given on Shunt Q&A:[1]

On the 'World Violation' backing tapes, one can hear drums on 'Clean' and a guitar on 'Personal Jesus' mixed very low. Were they there for back-up or to flesh out the live sound or have I been imagining things?

The extra sounds you heard were never audible through the P.A. system. They were back-up sounds in case of breakdown.

For example, the drum track audible on the 'I Feel You' backing tape (an excerpt of which is available to listen to here) was obviously muted during the actual concerts unless a problem arose, as Alan explained above. All of the available backing tape audio that is available are stereo mixdowns of the original multitracks, with no tracks muted or omitted. Ironically, I was told anecdotally that this has caused some Depeche Mode fans a lot of strife and disillusionment shortly after the 1990 World Violation tour backing tapes emerged in the early 90s (I believe 1992 if I am correct), as the said fans incorrectly assumed that DM was ultimately playing very little live.

Regarding extremely early backing tapes, Daryl Bamonte stated that Depeche Mode were using backing tracks on cassettes by the time of their first concert at the Bridge House venue:[2]

"I'm sure by the time they played the Bridgehouse for the first time, they were using cassettes. Originally a separate cassette tape for each song, which Dave had to keep changing. But later the set was all on one cassette, it made the set flow better."

Daryl was also asked whether that meant the set list was fairly static between concerts for a while, since the entire set was on a single cassette, or whether there might have been multiple variations of a set list across several tapes; he answered: "I think just one version".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES  : DEPECHE MODE  : LIVE - live albums / versions / performance
  2. Source: Facebook conversation between Daryl Bamonte and the webmaster on October 20, 2016.

Pages in category "Tour backing tapes"

The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total.